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Issue 5: Cuba / Kate Thompson

We walked down the Malecon between traffic and the ocean. A boy standing on the seawall tried to cast his line past the rocks, where his brothers and sister trawled the tidal pools. We were the only foreigners around. Boys shouted from passing cars. At least half of the cars were ’54 Buicks. Machismo Cubano: six well-oiled young men in muscle shirts and silver chains sitting in the back seat.

At night, the Malecon is a catwalk. Girls moved arms linked past young Cubanos sprawled along the wall, cooing, clucking, yelping, whispering, panting, groaning, singing, sighing under the street lamps. We wanted to observe, invisibly, but we were already part of the parade. Continue Reading…

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Somewhere in New York

These photographs were all taken throughout New York, in museums and parks, and on strolls through the city. I find beauty within nature, and the manmade structures that fit the landscapes so harmoniously to create a perfect utopia.

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From The Magazine: End of the Line

End of the Line

By Anneliese Schultz

“I like them boots,” the new driver says as we switch buses in Cheyenne, and what I like is the irony that it’s me, the city girl, looking like a cowboy today, him talking in a soft drawl but wearing fluorescent hiking boots, the blacks and Mexicans with the best hats, a handsome Sikh reading The Big Sky.

Hills roll. Faded green, the yellow of dry days, of sun on sage, of what my Atlas of the American West calls saxifrage… The next billboard advertises a truck stop only twelve-hundred-plus miles away in Portland; set your sights, I guess. Black-eyed Susans; three locomotives on the long Union Pacific sliding slowly west to the buttes; an arrow to Laramie, next stop… Continue Reading…

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Under Paris with the BankNote Wallet Guys

There I was, 40 meters below the streets of Paris, in a tiny stone tunnel, wading through waist-deep water with a group of Cataphiles. My body was charged with anxiety and anticipation…what the fuck was I doing down here?

Nice question, thanks for asking.

Let’s start with how I got to Paris. I have this friend named Carter, who describes our relationship as “part-time best friends.” It’s an apt description, because while we never get to spend much time together, when we do it is a pure, unadulterated good time. And he was in Paris for a year, so what the hell. Continue Reading…

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Longform: Terlingua

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SUNDAY AND DR. DOUG AND LARRY sit on the porch of the Terlingua Trading Company, drinking cold Shiner Bock beer as the thermometer hits 108 in the shade.

We join them, a break from our drive along the Rio Grande up to Marfa, and watch the Chihuahuan desert turn rock to dust. Scrolling scrub land stretches south to Mexico’s Sierra Madre peaks. To the east, the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park jab into the sky. Stone walls of long abandoned mining homes decay into cairns next to houses topped with solar panels and rainwater buckets. Carcasses of old rusted cars and farm machinery lie around town. This place — 500 miles from Austin, 300 miles from El Paso, with little reliable cell phone service — is about as far gone as you can get in the continental US.   Continue Reading…

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Somewhere in Oklahoma

Oklahoma, birthplace of photographer David Jennings, often feels to him like a forgotten land. A place of both beauty and violence, one moment may reveal a braided horse mane, and the next a pile of severed heads. In this essay, he documents his winter visit to his homeland.

 

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You Are Here: Medical Tourism

The first thing he does is deaden your senses. Over your face he places a dark cloth like a hangman’s hood, with a circle in its center just wide enough for a mouth to stretch into a scream. You close your eyes for the descent, but when you open them again, you see black: no eye holes. From underneath, metal flashes and fingertips dart just below your nose.  These sudden movements, quick with anxiety, make you shut your eyes again. Continue Reading…

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In The Field: Colorado

The fascinating emptiness and the desertion of the old mine drew me in. It was creaky, wooden, and on the verge of collapse with rusting bolts and nails about to give way. Snapped cable lines, for the trams that used to carry the ore down the mountain, stretched across the hillsides in twisted coils, wrapped among brush and stunted trees. Crushed rock tailings stood in silent piles next to rushing streams. Even more than the machinery, the long-gone stories about the people interested me: the miners, not caricatures of a crazy old prospector eating canned beans or gunfighters drawing down on each other in a muddy main street, but real miners who worked there. The working-class spaces were now empty — no gripes and no injuries, no conversations about paychecks blown the weekend before — disappeared like melted snow. Continue Reading…

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En Route: Restlessness — Part 2

He has seen the mountains scratch at the sky like claws, then fall into the flatness of the plains. He has seen canyons swallow the flatness, but drown in rivers. He has seen the rivers tie a rope around his legs and drag his body and mind out to sea. But the people stayed the same, and he no longer sought their faces from his car window.

They tell children home is where your heart is, but he can’t find the way back home from the woods. He is not a child. The pictures on his parents’ wall no longer look like him. Driving in the Rockies, the moon a nail clipping with no finger to point the way, he thinks of the perfect word to describe where he came from. But it does not exist. Not in the native language of his birth, or the alien language buried in his tongue. A deer, in the middle of the road. The shadow of its understanding tossed aside like clothes. His heart in its naked mouth. He reaches out his hand but it shrinks away and bares its teeth. For the promise of home it crawls across the road on its knees, much like him. Continue Reading…

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Longform: The Lounge

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WELCOME TO THE LOUNGE. The cigarette smoke hits you like a brick wall, staining your clothing on impact.

In the small kitchenette, you see Fern burning toast while humming an unrecognizable melody. His hands are covered by fingerless gloves, which he never takes off, even indoors. His hair is a dull black, wanting a wash. He’s addicted to something, but you’ll never know what. It turns his otherwise fair skin sallow, crinkling it like paper around his eyes, which are the lightest, most intense shade of blue you’ve ever seen. Ask him and he’ll recite poetry for you, but otherwise you’ll never hear him speak a word. He is beautiful. Continue Reading…

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Somewhere on Andros Island, Bahamas

The largest and least developed island of the Bahamas, Andros is a quick 15-minute plane ride from Nassau. Famous for blue holes and bonefish, scuba divers and fly fishermen flock to five-star old school lodges like Small Hope Bay year-round. Besides a handful of conch fishermen, and the occasional taxi driver, Andros is largely empty. Which is exactly where we like to be: Nowhere.

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